Open today, and in the future
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from Peace River Wildlife Center. We are finally winding down the frantic bustle of spring and summer with all of the baby birds and mammals we take in during those long, simmering days. Our rehabbers are now focusing on annual physical exams for all of our residents and taking care of the higher number of injured patients we see as a result of the increase in traffic and population density.
We are always grateful for the return of our northern friends and family members. Their investment in the community help us maintain and grow. They are especially valuable to PRWC as visitors and volunteers alike make it possible for us to fulfill our mission of assisting orphaned and injured wildlife.
This year, PRWC has a lot to be thankful for with the resolution of our relocation challenge. As most of you know, PRWC has been leasing our site from the City of Punta Gorda for more than 20 years. When the time came to renew our lease, we learned the property on which we are located is not entirely within Ponce de Leon Park. An older aerial survey was proven inaccurate when a more recent survey was performed.
The current members of Punta Gorda’s city council were obviously not involved with the original miscalculation, but have been proactive in trying to resolve the issue. They have offered PRWC an acre within the actual confines of Ponce de Leon Park, where PRWC can rebuild its facility. With the help of engineer Jim Herston from Herston Engineering Services, PRWC hopes to begin rebuilding its new facility in the next year or two.
Thankfully (are we noticing a theme here?) the developer on whose property we are currently located, is being very patient as we attempt to resolve our conundrum. The entire park will be renovated and it will take time to draw up plans and get permits approved. My new favourite saying: we are working at the speed of government!
In the meantime, PRWC will be open for business as usual. We will continue to care for injured and orphaned wildlife and help educate people as to the best way to live in harmony with the nature that surrounds us here in southwest Florida.
PRWC will be open our normal hours on Thanksgiving, and also on Christmas day for people looking to get out of the house for a little while. Or for those moms who need a little less “help” in the kitchen—send the kids off with dad and the grandparents so you can cook in peace. Or, if you “cook” like I do, pop those TV dinners in the microwave with no witnesses. Just don’t forget to scrape it onto the fancy serving bowls before everyone gets back.
And now you don’t have to wait for Black Friday or Small Business Saturday to start your holiday shopping. Our gift shop is bursting at the seams with one-of-a-kind t-shirts, jewelry, ornaments, holiday cards, calendars, books, toys and lots of other unique merchandise. Stop in to wish Luna, our leucistic (all white meat!) screech owl, and all our residents a happy holiday and give our wonderful staff a big hug for volunteering to be with their fur and feathers family instead of their own today.
by- Robin Jenkins, DVM